Sol LeWitt

Born in Hartford Connecticut, 1928, Sol LeWitt attended art classes as a child at the Wadsworth Athaneum in Hartford. He went on to complete a BFA at Syracuse University in 1949 before serving for the United States Army in Korea and Japan during the Korean war. Following this he moved to New York in 1953 where he attended classes at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School and did production work for Seventeen magazine. Later, LeWitt worked as a graphic designer for the architect I. M. Pei from 1955 to 1956. LeWitt worked as a night porter at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the early 1960s LeWitt worked on paintings and reliefs, before concentrating on cubes in the mid-1960s. His methods were mathematical, using precise measured formats, grids and modules to develop his aesthetic. In the second half of the 1960s LeWitt began exhibiting alongside other artists associated with Minimalism. During these years he taught at New York University and the School of Visual Arts. LeWitt is considered the founder of Minimalism and Conceptual art. He wrote extensively on his practice: “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” (1967) and “Sentences on Conceptual Art” (1969).

In 1968 he began making drawings directly onto walls. Through his sculpture LeWitt mapped out more 122 permutations of the cube with one or more sides missing in Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes (1974). Evident in LeWitt’s work is an interest in seriality. This led him to produce a book, titled Autobiography (1980), compiled of photographs of all of his posessions in his Manhattan home. In 1976, along with Lucy Lippard, LeWitt founded Printed matter, an publishing house for artist’s books.

In 1980 Sol LeWitt moved to Spoleto in Italy. In the 1990s Sol LeWitt incorporated acrylic paint into his wall drawings which he described as “raucous and vulgar”.

Selected Exhibitions: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, USA; MASS Moca, Massachusetts, USA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA; David Zwirner, New York, USA; Gagosian, Paris, France; Hauser and Wirth, Hong Kong, China; Perrotin, Shanghai, China; Pace Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland; OMR, Mexico City, City; Kavi Gupta, Chicago, USA.

Selected Collections: Tate Collection, London, UK; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA; MoMA, New York, NY, USA; Dia:Beacon, NY, USA; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA.

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